Easy Beef Empanadas

Our easy beef empanadas are delicious pockets of beef, chorizo and tomatoes baked up in a crispy pie crust. They go together in minutes since we start with a packaged pie crust & only take 20 minutes to bake. This is one appetizer that is always the biggest hit of the party!

Easy Beef Empanadas | 2 Cookin Mamas These easy beef empanadas are pockets of beef, chorizo and tomatoes baked up in a crispy pie crust. They go together in minutes & are always a party hit!

I love appetizers and Spanish tapas has got to rank towards the top of my list. And one of my favorites has got to be beef empanadas.

Now if you’ve never heard of an empanada (please say you have or you’ve been missing out big time), they are like little turnovers filled with meat, cheese or sometimes something sweet. Having originated in NW Spain, the name means breaded, which is a pretty spot on description, Empanar being the Spanish word for bread and empanada being the past-participle meaning breaded.  Originally these turnovers were made of bread dough but are now done with pastry dough as well.

Easy Beef Empanadas overhead | 2 Cookin Mamas

So with the big football game coming up, which being the big football fan I am I can’t wait to see, there has to be a party with plenty of yummy appetizers to go around. And what better to fix than my favorite and easy-to-make empanadas which seem to be a hit whenever I make them. Using packaged pie crust cuts the prep time down to almost nothing and the filling whips up in a jiffy. And you can make them ahead of time and pop into the oven just before the guests arrive.

Easy Beef Empanadas step 3 | 2 Cookin Mamas

Saute the onions & garlic then add the beef, chorizo & spices and cook until beef is done. Add tomatoes and let simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and make pastry circles.

Easy Beef Empanadas assembly step 1 | 2 Cookin Mamas

Roll out the pastry dough and cut into 3″ or 5″ circles with a bowl or glass.  Add a few tablespoons of the beef mixture.

Easy Beef Empanadas assembly fold over & fork edge | 2 Cookin Mamas

Fold dough over and crimp with tines of fork.

easy beef empanadas brush with egg | 2 Cookin Mamas

Brush with egg to get that lovely brown glazed look after baking. And look at all that deliciousness!

Easy Beef Empanadas bite | 2 Cookin Mamas

The great part about these empanadas, besides their yummy taste, is that they can be served as an appetizer or a dinner too! When serving for dinner, I like to make a side salad which helps round out the meal.

Easy Beef Empanadas 2 | 2 Cookin Mamas

So on to the big game and may the best team win! (and even if yours doesn’t win you’ll still have fun eating these empanadas! :-))

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
These easy beef empanadas are pockets of beef, chorizo and tomatoes baked up in a crispy pie crust. They go together in minutes & are always a party hit!
Servings: 7 -8 emapanadas
Author: Linda Warren
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic or 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 lb. chorizo, casing removed & minced (Ninja chopper makes this step easy peasy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 14- oz can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
  • 1 packaged pie crust, thawed
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  3. Sauté onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes. 

  4. Add beef, chorizo, cumin & oregano and cook for 5-7 minutes or until beef is cooked through. 

  5. Add tomatoes and cook until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Let mixture cool.

To Assemble
  1. Place pie crust between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out into long thin rectangle. 
  2. Find a glass or bowl with a diameter of 3” and use to cut dough into circles. (You can make the circles about 5" in diameter if having for dinner)

  3. Place 2 tablespoons of beef-chorizo mixture on one side of circle. Fold in half and, using the tines of a fork, seal edges all around.

  4. Place on prepared cookie sheet and continue with remaining dough.

  5. Whisk egg in small bowl and brush the top of each empanada.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

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Easy Beef Empanadas